SRFTI revokes expulsion of 14 students
SRFTI protest: Demanding ‘unconditional’ reversal of expulsions, students go on relay hunger strike
SRFTI protest: ‘Can’t revoke expulsion without giving minor punishment to students’
THE STALEMATE at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) finally ended on Tuesday after agitating students called off their hunger strike following the institute’s decision to revoke the expulsion order of 14 female students. The expulsion order was issued after all but 14 girl students refused to vacate their old hostel building, where boys also used to stay in a separate wing, and shift to a new one — which will only accommodate girls.
On Monday, SRFTI Director Debamitra Mitra had announced her decision to revoke the expulsion of 14 female students and suspension order of nine male students while asking the students to lift their agitation. SRFTI students’ body president Akshay Gouri said on Tuesday: “The hunger strike has been called off after 54 hours. We have called off the whole protest, which continued for 15 days. This has been done because we received a favourable response from the administration, which revoked its expulsion and suspension orders without handing out any punishment to the students.” “Moreover, it also agreed to hold academic and administrative meeting with us to discuss our other demands. The response was favourable, therefore, we lifted the protest around 4 pm… Classes have already begun at the institute,” he added.
He claimed that the institute had revoked the expulsion order unconditionally, as it did not punish the agitating students. “We had said that no punishment should be given to students and the administration has done that. We are happy with the response,” said Gouri. The director, meanwhile, said: “We are very happy with the development. The students have accepted the hostel segregation policy and I must thank them for their cooperation. We have issued the order to revoke the expulsion of those who have already shifted to the new accommodation. As a result, they have lifted their protest.” Mitra said while some of these 14 students have already shifted to the new hostel, the rest are in the process of doing so. She added that those who have already shifted, they had their expulsion revoked. Besides a notice was issued informing all about the decision, she said.
The institute, which had been witnessing protests since October 17, on Saturday saw seven students launching a relay hunger strike while demanding unconditional withdrawal of the expulsion of the girls and the suspension order of nine male students, who have been accused of indulging in vandalism. During a meeting with students on October 26, SRFTI authorities had asked those unwilling to shift to the new hostel to give in writing why they had opposed the idea. Following this, the students had submitted written responses.
Ready to revoke expulsion of 14 students, process to start today: SRFTI
SRFTI protest, Day 9: Not allowed to enter campus second time, says director; students deny allegation